Boris Johnson Scott Morrison G7
(Image: Peter Nicholls/PA Wire)


The final day of the G7-plus summit has seen leaders agree to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean by the end of the decade, meet an overdue spending pledge of US$100 billion a year to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions, and “accelerate” the end of coal for electrical power, although, as Politico reports, UK and EU officials had pushed for a hard deadline of 2030.

According to The Age, leaders also issued a rebuke against China’s “non-market policies and practices [that] undermine the fair and transparent operation of the global economy” — which the US would have preferred to be stronger-worded. Additionally, Joe Biden and Boris Johnson have split on how seriously to take the Wuhan-lab theory of COVID-19’s origin, with the latter noting his own best advice had the virus jumping to humans from an animal while the former argued intelligence agencies have not been able to determine the truth.

Other announcements have included support for a US-proposed infrastructure plan to rival China’s belt and road initiative and a call for a new study into the origins of COVID-19, after, CNN notes, the initial report was deemed insufficient after Beijing had refused to cooperate.

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Domestic angles range from Scott Morrison being denied a one-on-one with Biden thanks to Johnson (Guardian Australia), to a consequence of that chat — an announcement that Australian frigates will join a British carrier strike group in naval exercises in the Indo-Pacific “in a show of strength against China” (The Sydney Morning Herald).

Morrison also continues to negotiate with Johnson over a new trade agreement. And as SBS notes, he earlier said he looked forward to discussing Australia’s climate change policies; for how anyone can pretend to brag about Australia’s seven-year policy vacuum, check out RenewEconomy’s “Your G7 greenwashing guide: How Australia will feign climate ambition”.

PS: In other political news, the always consistent and legitimate list of Queen’s Birthday honours includes Orders of Australia for both CSIRO oceanographer Stephen Rintoul, “for distinguished service to climate science through oceanographic and Antarctic research and policy development”, and someone who helped destroy Australia’s first and last carbon price, Sky News’ Peta Credlin, for “distinguished service to parliament and politics, to policy development, and to the executive function of government”.


According to The Age, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is days away from announcing a final decision on whether he will deploy the government’s god-like intervention powers and release a Tamil family detained on Christmas Island.

The news comes after several Coalition MPs broke rank over the weekend and joined Labor, the Greens and independents in calling for the government to allow Nades, Priya, Kopika and Tharunicaa to return to Biloela.

Yesterday, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians released an open letter signed by nine medical groups calling on the government to release the family.


Victorian authorities remain confident of restrictions easing across the state later this week, although the Herald Sun notes that residents are still being urged to get tested as contact tracers chase the source of remaining mystery cases.

Melbourne recorded just one new case yesterday, while several Southbank and Docklands venues were added to the list of exposure sites over the weekend, including the Freshwater Place skyscraper from June 9-11.


Finally, the ABC reports that Queensland swimmer Kaylee McKeown has broken the world record for the women’s 100 metre backstroke on day two of the Australian Olympic swimming trials, clocking in at 57:45 to beat the previous world record held by the United States’ Regan Smith of 57:57.


Climate change is affecting all of us. Why not fight it together? The Adani Group’s #iCan campaign is a step towards finding individual responsibilities and solutions to save the planet.

Adani Group

The company that fought for about a decade to rip up the Galilee Basin lays the blame for global warming right where it belongs.


The Australian War Memorial: from place of national solace to nationalist theme park

“This week the National Capital Authority (NCA) — a federally appointed body that oversees the ‘Commonwealth’s interests and intentions for planning, designing and developing Canberra and the Territory’ — signed off on what is called the ‘early works’ of the government’s half-billion redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial (AWM).

“The NCA is chaired by Terry Weber, a Liberal donor appointed by the Abbott government. Dennis Richardson, the long-time national security bureaucrat and supporter of the prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K, is also on the board.”

The global crime sting stung the bad guys hard — but why won’t the AFP give us the nitty-gritty?

“The AFP, according to its early reporting, its own accounts and recently unsealed court documents, played a large role in the operation. But what was its role? It wasn’t, as reported by some, ‘created’ by the AFP. Rather, the AFP’s contribution was to decrypt communications sent via the app.

Kershaw specifically named one law: the controversial anti-encryption Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act, aka TOLA.”

Hey, millennial, wanna get on the property ladder? Surely these gems are simply screaming ‘buy me’ at you

“With overseas holidays off the table for the foreseeable future, and the cafes with their exorbitantly priced avocado toast facing restrictions on how many millennials they can let through the door, the next generation of Australian homebuyers may finally be able to join their boomer parents on the property ladder.

“From Brisbane to Melbourne to Adelaide — and of course the first-homebuyer-friendly city of Sydney — some absolute gems have been offered up in recent times. Here’s a list of what you’ve just missed out on, so you can know what to expect when you begin your search with a fistful of COVID-19 savings.”


NSW and WA in ‘race to the top’ to ban single-use plastics from next year

Another week until power returned, towns still without triple zero after storm

Wuhan live bat video contradicts WHO investigation ($)

NSW to offer $25,000 grant for first home buyers in stamp duty overhaul

Andrew Forrest’s $100b Congo power play ($)

WA Liberal leader David Honey butts heads with Gina Rinehart’s employee at State Council ($)

Victorian opposition push for new Covid inquiry after ‘more fundamental mistakes’ ($)

US and UK leaders discuss virtual trial for Anne Sacoolas over crash that killed Harry Dunn

England beats Croatia 1-0 to get Euro 2020 campaign off to a flyer thanks to Raheem Sterling’s winner

Israel’s Knesset to vote on new government, end Netanyahu’s reign


Though it is newly respectable, the Wuhan lab theory remains fancifulDavid Robert Grimes (The Guardian): “In the storm of disinformation since the emergence of Covid-19, the assertion that the virus is human-created has lingered on the fringes. This outlandish conjecture, once confined to conspiracy theorists, has undergone a renaissance after Joe Biden’s insistence that scientists should investigate the possible lab origins of COVID. From Vanity Fair to the Washington Post, the theory has been given a veneer of respectability.”

Wuhan COVID lab-leak theory must be taken seriously by scientists and reporters ($) — Chris Mitchell (The Australian): “Newspaper editors and electronic current affairs producers need to look harder at the Wuhan COVID-19 laboratory leak story. Not just because this newspaper’s investigations writer Sharri Markson has been leading the world on reporting of a possible leak that could have already killed close to four million people. It takes a bit of hard reading — not something today’s journalists, spoonfed by an army of PR specialists, are cut out for — to understand how seriously the leak theory is now being taken in scientific circles.”

Gut-wrenching sound of alcohol delivery in an abusive relationshipKym Valentine (The Sydney Morning Herald): “An alcoholic’s journey to domestic abuse can be slow and insidious. The abuser is often a skilled manipulator — adept at making a rational argument to justify a six-pack here, a bottle of wine there. Before the pandemic, 80% of alcohol sold in Australia was takeaway and delivery, a figure which rose sharply as a result of lockdowns last year. Australia recorded its highest month in history for alcohol retail turnover in December 2020, an astounding $2 billion.”


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Peter Fray
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